Health Progress, Keto Beginner, Open Blog, Uncategorized

1 Year Anniversary

It’s been a year.  Whoa.  I cannot believe I managed to make it this far.  Not because the keto lifestyle is hard or I’m hungry or whatever, but because I have tried and failed so many times and so many ways just to get healthy.

The Starting Point

Let’s talk about where I was when I was finally willing to give Keto a try.  I had just returned to work after a summer vacation of trying to lose weight with traditional diet and exercise, I had been taking the metformin prescribed by my dr to help me control the insulin resistance, PCOS and prediabetes, I had zero hope of getting pregnant, I was wearing dresses that were very forgiving if I gained or list (but you know I was gaining), my anxiety was okay so I was able to get off of my lexapro (until I went back to work, it got crazy and I had to go back on nearly immediately), I kept swelling and turning red with achy joints and didn’t know why (adrenals were shot and I didn’t know it), I wasn’t sleeping very well, I had regular and daily headaches due to stress, sinuses and who knows what else along with migraines that were pretty frequent, regular chronic sinus infections which meant a lot of antibiotics regardless of what I did to try to keep it at bay, regular-ish cycles which really weren’t that regular but I did have them (thank you PCOS), nails that split and broke and peeled which caused concern about the bones I couldn’t see and their health, I was always hungry, had IBS and chronic, daily diarrhea (those pool signs were a joke because I never had diarrhea from being contagiously ill, just from everything else in my life), exhaustion and sometimes I had a hard time focusing and thinking straight…I actually could go on.  But I think you can see here that I was a hot mess!

At that point, 1 year ago, I was 37 years old with no idea how to fix myself.  I knew I was killing myself and had often in recent years simply given up on how to be healthy because everything I did failed so miserably.  If I managed to lose anything, I would gain it back immediately.  I spent a lot of time and money trying new diets, old diets, cleanses, supplements, etc.  I could not figure out what my body needed to even survive.  At 37 I found myself ready to begin desperate measures…surgery.  I actually researched various surgeries.  I had even gone to the classes my insurance company provided to help me learn more about health, lose weight, use their dietary supplements and food replacements (that aren’t actual food), but mostly I went to be held accountable and still failed miserably.

The beginning of Keto was actually early Summer 2017.  My coworkers and I had a weight loss challenge for the summer.  We all put in money, I think like $40-50 and the winner got to keep the entire pot.  This was really what I needed.  Accountability and support.  I lost 17 pounds that summer from recommended diet and exercise.  And then when I got off my anxiety medication I gained 16.  So, all that work and I lost 1 beautiful pound.  I was not happy, to say the least.  I worked really hard.  But, in the end at least I tried and I was also off my meds (lexapro, not metformin).  Then we returned from vacation and we all did our weigh in.  I didn’t think I had won because I only lost 1 pound, but I didn’t think my coworker, Hannah, would just kill it either!  She was already pretty small but wanted to lose a little of what she called “baby weight.”  She looked like a different person and lost something like 35 pounds doing Keto.  HOLY CRAP!!!

Yes, you read that correctly, my friend lost a ton of weight that I didn’t even know she had to lose, won about $700 cash and felt great.  She’d been trying to tell me a little about Keto and what she was doing here and there, but I honestly just thought it was bonkers.  No seriously, how do you lose weight eating fat?  And how in the world and I going to give up all sugar, grains and most fruit and the starchy veggies that I loved the most?  I figured, based on my past experiences that she must have been starving herself, eating foods that tasted terrible and really damaging her health just to lose a few pounds.

I was wrong!

Naturally, I was ready to hear more about Keto and what Hannah had done to lose the weight.  I think I asked her a million questions, many repeated questions, etc.  Honestly, how could she lose weight like that?  It really seemed impossible given my experiences, comparing Keto to the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the FDA’s recommendations that I’ve been told my entire life.  But…Keto does sound like something I should try before I go under the knife and permanently change my body out of desperation.

Yes, I tried Keto out of desperation.  All else failed.  So, I gave it a go.

There are few things you should know about me, in case you don’t already…

  • I grew up being taught to question everything (Thanks dad)
  • I grew up taking supplements (Thanks mom and dad)
  • I grew up and never knew why I was so sick…we were doing what we thought was right and my body didn’t respond like it was supposed to
  • I often have what can be considered weird ideas and beliefs because it can go against popular ideas and experiences, but eventually got tired and sometimes just went along with the “program”…I’m more of a think outside of the box kind of person
  • I knew I could heal my body but didn’t know how
  • As I got older, I saw more and more people, especially women, having similar issues as myself…I was no longer that uncommon, but it seemed that no one had the answer
  • At church, they did the Daniel Plan…I was curious but not interested in another failure at the time, so I passed.  From what I gather, you eat foods that God made, so no processed, store bought foods.  Is that right?  ( I honestly don’t know, sorry.)
  • The medications were making me sicker but I also needed them
  • I needed a miracle.

So, along comes Keto.  Did I already know that Low-Carb was good for me?  Yes.  Did I like it?  No.  Did it work when I did Atkin’s a long time ago?  Yes, until I stopped…but I was always hungry, the food wasn’t that great and I really wasn’t cooking that much, so I probably wasn’t really doing Atkin’s as it should be done with real food.  Low carb has a ring of truth for me.

Moderate protein?  Well, I like protein and have never had an issue with it.  I guess I could try.  At least keep track and see where I’m at.  I wasn’t sure if I was getting enough or too much.  But, could you have too much protein?  I didn’t think so back then.

High fat?  Now you’ve lost your dang mind!  Now this is where I struggled the most.  Does it taste good?  YES.  Did I already know that going in?  YES.  But every bone in my body and cell in my brain was trained to think fat was bad, very bad.  VERY BAD.  Eating fat makes you fat.  Obviously.  Except it doesn’t.

To be honest, the biggest struggle I had doing Keto wasn’t giving up the carbs, which was hard because I was totally addicted to carbs of all kinds, especially sugar and flour).  My biggest struggle was mentally dealing with the fact that I could, and should, eat fat.  I should enjoy it.  Fat doesn’t make you fat.  Fat helps your body operate appropriately and is the best fuel source for your body.  Carbs make you fat.

I used to feel so guilty when I ate things like a whole avocado, bacon, butter, the fat from a delicious steak, etc.  Oh my goodness.  I really struggled with this.  I wanted to limit this so badly.  But when you do, you get hungry and mean and tired and crabby and hungry.  Did I repeat myself?

When an idea or information is so ingrained into who you are (and it’s a popular viewpoint), it is a true challenge to go against it.  Taking time to think about what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and why you’re doing it is a key to success here with Keto.  You can be successful if someone just tells you what to do and you blindly follow it, but it’s better if you are making these decisions for yourself.

D-Day of Keto:

Once I decided to give Keto a try I made a plan.  Cold turkey?  NOPE.  That doesn’t work for me.  Besides, going low carb in the past has given me headaches (I know, I already had headaches, right?  I told you I was a mess.)

The plan was to reduce carbs as much as I could as I tried to learn more and prepare for Keto.  At this point I really didn’t know much except I needed to look into macros and start tracking.  I got an app on my phone and began the logging.  I had no idea how many carbs were in food I thought was healthy!  It was a big shock.  One day I stopped at Del Taco on my way to work and got a cup of beans and cheese.  It’s delicious, I’m not going to lie to you.  I loved beans and always thought they were healthy for me.  I got to the parking lot at work and logged my meal into the app…and then I discovered this tiny cup was literally 18 grams of carbohydrates.  I blew my entire day practically doing what I thought was the right thing.  BTW, that was the day that I learned legumes are not keto-friendly.

After 2 weeks of lowering my carbs and keeping track I realized I didn’t eat carbs that day.  That was my first day of Keto.  September 1, 2017.  I was jumping for joy that day when I realized what I hadn’t done.  I was telling my husband, who I didn’t really think would consider Keto, and he was somewhat interested.  Then I went to bed and woke up the next morning to find that my husband was up all night watching YouTube videos about Keto and doing research.  The first thing he said to me was that he’s going to do Keto to!  What?!?  I didn’t expect him to do this with me and was happy to have coworkers to have support…but what a huge blessing this has been on our whole family.

(If you’re interested, my husband created a folder of saved YouTube videos to help organize helpful information.  You can check it out by clicking here.)

Even after the official start of Keto, I continued to learn a lot and make changes.  I would do something I thought was healthy and later realize it probably wasn’t the best idea, so then I would make modifications.  It’s important to forgive yourself because you won’t be perfect and that’s okay.  You’re relearning how to be healthy and it is not always obvious.  Be kind to yourself!

Healthy Update:

I have some serious improvements.  I am not done healing.  Some changes are obvious and some are not so obvious.

I followed Keto for a year with just modifying my intake and not exercising.  Every time I exercise I have serious inflammation issues, though it is getting much better and recovery is faster than it was before Keto.  So, basically I changed my diet but not my exercise.  The only thing I’ve changed in regards to exercising is that I have more energy and feel like moving more, so I walk more and feel more like doing fun, active activities than I did before.

To date, I have lost about 65-70 pounds, am no longer taking metformin, have regular cycles, have longer breaks between needing antibiotics for my sinus infections, have improved adrenals with a quicker recovery to inflammation, have regular BMs daily and diarrhea is rare, have improved mental health which include trying again to get off of my anxiety medication (don’t worry, I have dr support and I’m weening very slowly) and fewer panic attacks, stronger nails and hair that grow so fast it borders on annoying, I can think more clearly.  The list goes on.  My blood work is amazing.  My blood pressure is perfect now.  I have hope of having a child of my own with my husband now.  Real hope.  While I’ve plateaud for the past 7-8 months, I have still lost inches and am still healing my body internally.  I went from a size 26 (I’m not totally sure, I was buying 24 and squeezing myself into extra forgiving dresses and leggings with baggy shirts with lots of stretch) to now I wear a size 20 (for real).  The hump on the lower neck, upper back area is significantly smaller.

I feel free.  I feel like I have been healing and am confident that I can easily continue healing.  I feel really good.

I went to a party yesterday with family and friends, many of whom I don’t see often.  I got a lot of great compliments, even from people who saw me after my initial big weight drop…so it made me feel good that the weight plateau didn’t mean I wasn’t improving.  Whew!

I intended on taking updated pictures in the same outfit as a year ago.  I apologize for it not being ready, but I will do my best to get to it.  Life is crazy and I have a gnarly sinus infection at the moment…one day I will just have a busy life and no illness (I hope anyway!)  I’ll work on the before and after pictures.  I definitely want to share them, but I think I need to see them.  I often look in the mirror and just see me, not the slightly smaller me.

Going Forward:

I need to tighten up my eating.  I haven’t been keeping track of my macros and I’m curious to see how far off I’ve been.  I suspect I generally am lower than 50 grams of carbs but need to lower it back closer to 20 grams.  I’ll begin journalling and keeping track of my consumption in my app again very soon…probably after I finish this blog posting.  I’ve also been eating dirty and would like to focus on being more strict more often.

In addition to the consumption, I have begun including exercise into my health improvement plan.  My choices are swimming, going to the gym and walking on the treadmill or elliptical (though, the elliptical still kind of intimidates me), going for a walk outsides, riding my bike, and playing a game…like tennis or basketball.  I plan to do this 2 days a week for a while and then boost to a minimum of 3 days per week.  I think the fact that I’ve been moving my body more has helped.  But adding actual exercise for at least 30 minutes 2-3 times a week should help and I expect to see some improvements.

I’m still focusing on improving my adrenal glands and keeping my blood sugar stable while also preparing for pregnancy.  I kind of feel like I’m still a bit unhealthy to be able to get and maintain a pregnancy, but I’m not sure I’m too far off.  I’m going to try now and see how it goes.  After all, I’m not getting any younger and will eventually run out of eggs to even try to cook.

In Closing:

Keto isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  The struggles, after you get beyond the adaption phase, are really mentally accepting what is okay and how it conflicts with what you’ve always been taught and “known” to be true.

I’m happy.  I’m successful.  I could do this forever, and actually plan to do this forever.  It’s working and it’s not hard.  I’m not hungry.  I’m actually getting healthy.  I’m getting healthier every single day and it isn’t hard.  I’m able to get off my medications that hurt my body while trying to help it.

If you’d like more information about Keto, check out my blog about Keto Basics and Getting Started.  For a Keto support group, check out BeckDoes Keto…And, So Can You! on Facebook.  And, if you’re looking to watch some of my videos, though there aren’t many right now, check out BeckDoes Keto on YouTube.

Don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow to get up to date access to resources as they’re posted.

Keto is a good thing for me.  I hope that you find what you’re looking for to help your health.  It’s worth giving Keto a try, if you haven’t already.

Health Progress, Open Blog

9/4/18 Blog Update

General Chatty Intro:

Good morning!  I know it’s been a while since I’ve been in my routine and paying enough attention to BeckDoes.  Not to worry, I was still following the Keto lifestyle and I’m still feeling decent =)  It’s been the year of change so far and I am ready to re-settle.

In the last 5 months we decided to sell our home, which meant I had to pack and store a majority of our belongings, clean and repair things, hire painters to make it look better, etc.  The sale went through after a buyer quit at the last minute in the most dramatic of fashions.  Fortunately, the home sold and we were able to move forward after being stuck in this limbo state for just about 3 months.  3 months with the bare essentials kind of gives a new perspective…and I kind of liked it after getting used to it.

Anyway, we were choosing to rent for a while, so I had to do a lot of research and hunting to find the perfect rental to meet the needs of my family.  We decided on a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment near my husband’s new job…did I mention the attention it takes to help your husband prepare for a new job?  At least I was able to resign from my teaching job and have more time to focus on family after summer school ended.  My family consists of my husband and I, our 2 small doggies and my father (who doesn’t do Keto and really needs to).  We have so many needs between all of us I really didn’t think I’d find a home that would meet it all within our budget.  PTL we did.

The long and short of it is that I’ll be able to focus more on Keto, Beck Does and helping others, which is really what I love to do the most.  I think that’s why I enjoyed teaching for 20 years.  I get to volunteer again for an after-school Bible study co-teaching position at a local Elementary school with a good friend, have a more routine schedule for cooking, cleaning, planning, resting, other housewife type duties (making appointments, managing the budget and paying bills, etc.) and helping family as needed.

In addition to the above, I’m now more available to anyone who needs help with Keto.  This is particularly exciting to me because Keto has changed my life in such a dramatic fashion in the past year that my husband and I have serious hope of getting pregnant, are no longer pre-diabetic, have more energy and mental clarity, look and feel better, etc.  I could go on.  I also really have fun with Keto.  I get to be creative, which in addition to helping others, I really like trying new recipes and trying to be creative.

Blog Plan:  BeckDoes Keto…And, So Can You!

I have scheduled on my calendar that I will be posting 2-3 blogs per week, which include recipes, encouragements, important information about Keto and health, and sharing of my story/thoughts.  Just so you know, I don’t really think I’m that special.  I’m a normal person, with normal problems just like everyone else.  But what I think it different is that I’m willing to share what’s been going on in hopes that others can identify and perhaps benefit from my experiences.

The blogs can be found at http://www.beckdoes.com (which you probably already know, since you’re there reading this blog).  If you want to get updates when these blogs are posted, be sure to subscribe or “follow” and you’ll get the notification.  You can always change your mind later, if they become uninteresting or unhelpful.

Video Plan: Beck Does

In addition to the blogs, I’m about to set up the camera equipment and begin filming again.  Most of the videos will be recipes, but I will occasionally do a vlog (similar to a blog but in video format).  I also really want to go to the store and bring you along with me, similar to what Matt & Magha do.  I’ve found that friends and family really benefit from me going to the grocery store with them and really point out what is okay, not okay and why.  It’s like hands-on training.  Besides, I need to go to the store anyway because we eat food and that’s where they sell it!

I would imagine it might be up to a week before I begin posting regular videos on YouTube.  It takes a fair amount of work to create, edit and post a video…which should get easier as I practice, but you never know.

Another type of video I like the idea of doing is interviews.  It’s not good to only hear information from me when there are a large amount of other resources and experiences out there for you to benefit from.  If you’d like to be interviewed or want me to interview a particular person, make a certain recipe, or talk about certain topics related to Keto and/or health, please let me know because I’m trying to help 😉

The videos are posted on YouTube at BeckDoes at this ugly URL – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQUejExqyrU0qSU6YoupWfQ.  You can view the videos, share them, add comments, questions and suggestions, etc.  You can also share them with people you think may enjoy or need the information.  And, if you want to make sure you know about new videos as they’re posted, be sure to click on the Subscribe button so you don’t miss out on any new content.

Social Media: BeckDoes Keto on Facebook

There is also a Facebook group that I created called BeckDoes Keto.  This group was created to provide and share Keto information, encouragement, support and help answer questions as a community.  In addition, we share updates of our successes, recipes, valuable resources and the occasional Keto joke or pun.  I love a good joke and a great pun, so it just wouldn’t be right not to include them when I find them!

If you’d like to check out the group, you’ll have to request to join.  Once approved you can view everything posted, ask questions ad even participate in get togethers.  Many in the group live in the Southern California area, so the gathers are usually around here.  There is a question when you want to join, you don’t have to answer it if you do not wish to.  It’s really to confirm you’re a human…because who wants a bot in the Keto group?

To check out the BeckDoes Keto…And, So Can You Facebook group, go to www.facebook.com/groups/beckdoesketo You can participate and share, or just passively view the content…it’s up to you!  At this point, I really don’t know how to make the content shareable with the Share button, but I am working on it.

Congratulations, if you’ve made it this far.  This blog is a bit longer than I was planning.  I think the coffee is kicking in!  WAHOO

I’m going to wrap this up with a quick update and preview of what is to come:

  • This week I am focusing on Back to Basics, which is good if you’re new to Keto or if you’ve been following this for a while and maybe aren’t so strict any more
  • I’ve officially had my 1 year Keto-versary and am pleased with the progress but wish I was magically perfectly healthy already
  • Calculating Macros is super important and will be covered in the Back to Basics this week.  How do you know when you’ve had enough fat? Too much protein? Or been indulging in too many carbohydrates to be successful?

Stay Tuned for upcoming blogs, videos and Facebook posts all about
Keto: Back to Basics!

Health Progress, Open Blog, Supplements, Uncategorized

Basic Blog 08/10/18

Friday, August 10, 2018

I feel amazing!  So I had some pretty crummy days this week as I made yet another drop in anxiety meds going from 7.5mg to 5mg.  The first decrease from 10mg to 7.5mg had similar symptoms, so I knew what to expect.  The only real difference from the first decrease to this second was the fact that the detox symptoms came much quicker…like in 2 days from the decrease versus over a week before.

It kind of wrecked my weekend as I was planning on having more time before the crummy, flu-like symptoms hit.  Oh well.  I missed a birthday party and stayed in bed for a couple of days.  Who am I kidding, I’ve spent most of this week in bed, but gradually getting better and getting more done.

Yesterday (Thursday) was the first day I felt good enough to drive myself any kind of distance.  I got a bunch done in the morning, then drove up to my husband’s work to go run errands with him and have lunch.  After I got home (about 2pm) I was pretty wiped.  Fortunately, we had leftover lunch and ate that for dinner.  Then, we went for a swim and talked a lot and I was asleep by about 9pm.

Today is even better than yesterday.  It’s not quite 10am, but I woke up before 6am, hung out with my husband, made our morning Magic Coffees, watched some helpful YouTube videos that I was backlogged on, got going on the laundry and began packing more (we’re moving Monday morning).  The buyers we sold the home to will be here to check the state of the property this afternoon, so I have to be ready for that.  I also want to make steaks that I defrosted earlier this week so we can eat them as salads this weekend and then make dinner.  Today I’m planning to cook dinner, but not according to my Meal Plan as that was thrown out the window a few days ago.  I’m thinking a roasted chicken with roasted carrots and radishes and a sauteed greens mix with crispy pan-fried bacon ends.  Did I mention I had to pack more stuff today?  It’s going to be a full day.

I realize this was kind of a ramble.  I probably didn’t need my morning Magic Coffee with mushrooms, but it’s so yummy!  I really am feeling more like my normal, morning-person self right now.  I might get worn out later today, but I’m going to be forgiving of myself and aware of my actual abilities…and most importantly, enjoy the energy, focus and normal feelings I currently have while they last.

I hope you all are having a good day.  We all have lives.  Just thought I’d share mine because it’s a struggle getting off anxiety medication.  Oh, I almost forgot that I wanted to tell you about the comparison from last summer to this summer.  If you’re interested, read further.  If you’re not, I really hope you have a wonderful day!

Throwback Comparison

As an educator I do my best to plan changes for the Summer.  This gives me time to rest, relax and adjust.  When I was on Metformin, I would adjust my doses in the Summer so that I could suffer the brutal consequences in the Summer when I’m not restricted on restroom usage and I can feel crummy and it doesn’t impact anyone else.  More recently, I know that making changes to my anxiety medication, Lexapro, needs to be done in this off-season as well.  As a teacher, Summer is the off-season, btw.

Now, you should know, if you don’t already, changing medications like Lexapro should be done with the support and guidance of a medical professional, which I am not.  I’m just a lady trying to get my life straight and my anxiety under control.  I have a doctor who is supportive, guides me and is encouraging me to try to get off the medication.  That all being said, let’s get on with the comparison.

Summer 2017

My first try getting off this medication, but my doctor really wants me to try.  I really want to try as well, even though I wasn’t sure what to expect.  My husband and I have been wanting to get pregnant and grow our family for many years and I know I need to be off this medicine if I can be for the benefit of the baby.  It’s kind of a lot of pressure.  And I was scared that once I got off the meds I would find out that I really need them and stay on for the rest of my life.

I was dieting and exercising, looking for work and interviewing, preparing for the new school year, binging a lot of tv shows and just trying to be rested.    I ended up losing 17 pounds and gaining 16 pounds that summer (yep, a grand total of serious effort for a loss of 1 pound).  I got really sick from detoxing, but the worst part was that I was having a hard time focusing and getting weird brain zaps.  I remember it was hard to drive because I didn’t know if it would become dangerous or not.  So, my dad and husband drove me places and I had stuff delivered.

At one point my father and I drove (okay, he drove me) up to San Jose for an interview.  I was well qualified for the position and very excited to talk with them about the direction of their school and the impact they have on the community.  I had my digital portfolio and copies of brochures and lesson plans and all kinds of “impressive” documents to bring and share.  Just before the interview I started getting weird brain zaps.  Yes, the worst time possible.  I quickly Googled what to do and read in a few places that increasing fish oil and Vitamin B should help.  So before the interview dad drove me to Costco and bought me Krill Oil and Super Vit-B Complex.  Naturally, it wasn’t enough time for them to do their job, but it couldn’t hurt and I had time to waste.

The interview didn’t go well.  I had a difficult time recalling information that I know, discussing my experience, etc.  I must have looked like an idiot.  Did I forget to mention that I suddenly had issues with body temperature regulation that caused me to freeze and then sweat like crazy?  I’m not surprised I didn’t get the job offer.

It took a long time for things to calm down.  I may have decreased the medication too fast, but I should have given myself time to just rest and relax without having to go on long road trips or impress anyone.  Looking back, I see what was really going on.  I should have not accepted job interviews.  Live and learn, I guess.

After summer ended, I returned to work and learned that my friend had lost of ton of weight from doing Keto.  She had been telling me about it since she started at the beginning of summer and I thought it was another fad diet.  I chose to stick with traditional diet and exercise.  I forgot to mention that most of my coworkers and I were in a Weight Loss Challenge over the summer.  I lost and my friend won.  She won a big pot of money, but more importantly, her health was good and she lost weight.

From that point I realized I needed to learn more about what she was doing.  What is Keto?  Are you really never hungry?  Are you sure it’s healthy?  You know, questions any sane person would ask when something is completely against “conventional wisdom” and everything we have learned our entire lives.  September 1, 2017 I officially started Keto and my husband began the next day.

Life was looking up.  I was off my medications and was on this journey with my coworker and friend, as well as my husband to get healthy and lose weight.  It’s been a dream to get healthy, but it was always so darn hard before.  I was feeling really good.  Really good.

Anyway, the saddest part of this whole thing was that after being off Lexapro for months I started really struggling again.  I had to get back on the medication.  I was so stressed out from work that I just couldn’t cope.  I felt like a failure.  I didn’t want to quit my job.  It was such a mess that I didn’t realize for a while that my sources of stress and anxiety were mostly coming from work.

I thought this meant that I would have to be on anxiety medications for the rest of my life.  Not only is that a bummer that my brain can’t function like it should, it meant that if I did get pregnant my baby would be impacted by this drug.  But, I was doing what I had to do and feeling calm and happy again.

Late Spring 2018

I had my annual appointment with the doctor to talk about my progress and what all has been going on.  She and I were both pleased.  Keto had made a clear and obvious difference in my life and I was feeling mentally very well.

The doctor suggested that I try to get off the Lexapro again.  I told her that I thought since I failed before it meant I had to be on it for life.  To support my claim, I did learn this from one of the depression/anxiety classes I took at Kaiser.  But, the doc said it wasn’t true and she wanted me to try again.

I had an especially difficult time at work this school year, so not only did I know I would be trying to get off the meds in the Summer, but I also knew that I would be quitting my job.  It was time to focus on my mental health and well being.

I’ve never felt such a relief as the moment after I gave my notice.  It was planned and discussed with my husband, so financially we would be okay.  We talked about how I struggled when I wasn’t working because I didn’t have purpose and was bored.  Being a homemaker without children is not great for someone who doesn’t like to clean.  It was the right time.

Summer 2018

I started on 10mg of Lexapro with Ativan as needed for panic attacks.  I had been doing Keto for about 10 months.  I had the support and encouragement from my medical doctors and my family.  I had a plan because I remember how I felt last summer, for the most part.

The plan consists of stepping down 1/4 dose each month until I was off.  I also have backup plans for everything ranging from grocery shopping to cooking dinner, household chores (like laundry) to paying bills.  I boosted my supplements to support my adrenals, my brain and my sleep from the beginning.  And, I’m on Keto but give myself a few extra carbs on the days I want them.

The first month went okay.  After a week, I was sick for about 10 days.  I thought I had the flu and was losing my mind.  Then it occurred to me that it was this detox I was going through, emailed the doctor and she confirmed my suspicions…which actually made me feel less stressed because I wasn’t imagining things.  The last couple weeks of the month I felt good.  Quite normal.  I still did things to keep as calm as possible.  I mean, life goes on while I’m doing this.

I’m in the first half of month two right now.  I was expecting to have a week or two before feeling sick.  That didn’t work out at all!  I got sick pretty quickly after the change in doses.  But, I didn’t feel quite as terrible and not nearly as many days.  Unlike last month, I did have a little bit of an issue with shopping without much care…so now I am the proud owner of 2 new swim suits and my husband has 2 pairs of pants and 2 shorts.  He hates it all.  I usually am a bit more frugal with the money and feel a bit bad that I spent money on these types of things without talking about it with him.  All things considered though, I’ve done worse damage buying a new purse at the mall.  Apparently I’m frugal enough to shop at Poshmark while I’m losing touch with my brain.  So it’ll be okay.  We’ve eaten out a bit more than I would have liked because I don’t want to cook or can’t get to the grocery store to buy more food.

I am gradually getting out of this funk.  I am fully aware that it will all come back, or some version of yuckiness will happen when I drop my meds again next month.  But I feel amazing today.  I actually feel good, like I did well before I had anxiety and whatnot.

I really feel like it’s important to share my story with you.  Not because I need you to know me.  Not because I feel special.  But because when I was going through this I really couldn’t find much information or personal experiences.  You are not alone.  For those of you with family or friends going through this right now, please be extra kind and forgiving of them and their actions right now…it’s a crazy time with your brain does crazy things.

I’ll keep you updated as things progress in regards to my mental health.  I hope you all well.  If you have any questions or comments, please write them in the comments section below.  If you have a suggestion that you’d like to share, please do!

And of course, remember to press the Follow button to get updates of new postings, and feel free to check out the BeckDoes Keto support group on Facebook if you’re interested in learning more about Keto or need some support and encouragement from real life people who are also doing Keto.

Open Blog, Recipes, Uncategorized

Stretching 1 Chicken to 5+ Meals

It’s Magic Time…

Cooking several extravagant meals per week really take a lot of energy and time.  By nature, I am lazy and I’d like to share with you a few tricks on how you can minimize the time and still create several great meals without too much effort.

Using a whole chicken you can make several delicious meals for the week.  This can be done with several chicken pieces, but I find it’s usually cheaper to buy the entire chicken.  I would recommend, if you have the space, buy more than one chicken when you find a great sale and freeze the excess for another week.

#1-Chicken Broth

  • Put the whole chicken into your Instant Pot (IP) with some garlic and onions, spices, and pink Himalayan sea salt with 1/2 cup of water
  • Cook on Manual High for 45 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release
  • Remove chicken and let cool in a bowl leaving the liquid in the IP
  • Debone the chicken, putting the meat in a ziplock baggy or storage container of choice…but put everything non-edible back into the IP (ie: skin, bones, cartilage)
  • Put the chicken away for meal creation later
  • Add water to the IP to the 4L mark, seal and cook on Manual High for 60 minutes with whatever kind of release you feel like…remember, I’m lazy so I do the NPR for an hour or two
  • Let broth cool to touch for a couple of hours uncovered (unless you’re ambitious, but I am not)
  • Strain “goodies” from broth and store broth in 1 large gallon sized mason jar or several small jars.
  • You can store this broth for a month from my experience
  • Good to drink straight, especially when fasting, adding to meals that ask for water or broth, and makes an excellent soup base when it’s cold or you’re sick

#2-Chicken Tacos

  • Heat up shredded chicken from Step 1
  • Put taco ingredients in small bowls, shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, etc.
  • Get yourself some tortillas substitutes, like cheese tortillas (it’s melted cheese you make yourself) or almond tortillas (I’m loving Siete Almond Tortillas from Whole Foods/Sprouts)
  • Let everyone make their own tacos and enjoy!

#3-Chicken Salad

  • Make a salad (lettuce of choice, cucumbers, celery, a little tomatoes, avocado slices, salted sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, shredded cheese, hard-boiled eggs, etc.)
  • Add shredded chicken and dressing of choice (we love a good ranch)
  • Easy, filling meal on a hot day

#4-Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

  • Mix the creamy stuff
  • Mix in the shredded chicken, ham and cheese
  • Put everything on a casserole pan, crumble some pork rinds on top and bake until cheese is melted and top is golden in color
  • I mentioned the recipe in my previous blog

Do you even have any chicken left?  I would be well out by now!

#5-SOS (A Troyer Family Recipe Ketofied)

  • Heated, shredded chicken and homemade gravy using the chicken broth and xantham gum over a pile of warm mashed cauliflower with a side of steamed (or lightly microwaved), salted broccoli
  • So good! And, so easy!

#6-Broth for Fasting

  • Heat up some of the chicken broth, add salt to taste and enjoy
  • This is a great way to add more fat and extend a fast

So, there you have 4 meals to make with a single chicken, 1 meal replacement and enough broth for anything else you’d like to make.

Be sure to press the follow if you’d like to receive updates of blogs as they are posted.  If you’re looking for more support, encouragement and additional resources with occasional joke,
check out the group BeckDoes Keto…And, So Can You!

As always, please add suggestions, comments and questions below!
I’m here to help in any way I can.

Open Blog, Recipes, Uncategorized

When it doesn’t go according to plan

I’ve been talking about meal planning and prepping for weeks now.  But it doesn’t always go according to plan.  The good news is, a few bumps in the road don’t wreck everything!

You might know by now that I’m tapering off my anxiety medication.  It’s causing some problems, but I’m going slow and have the full support of my doctor.  I’m currently on half dose and surviving.  I feel like I have a sinus infection, the flu, body temperature issues and have weird body aches.  It’s normal and it helps me to feel better that what I’m feeling is just my body detoxing from the medication.  I know this will all pass, but I’m dropping the ball on the meal planning because I don’t always feel good enough to prep and cook the meals I planned.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if you mess up!  You might end up throwing some food away, eating out or modifying your meal plan, but it’s survivable and forgivable.  Tonight I planned to cook steaks and enjoy it with steamed veggies.  It sounds so nice to eat, but I am feeling my worst in the afternoons and evenings lately.  So instead, I am using the chicken I deboned yesterday to make this Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole today.  I already have all of the ingredients, all I have to do is put it together before I feel crummy…then put it in the oven to cook before dinner.  I can quickly microwave steam some broccoli and cauliflower to go with it.  Now everyone is happy because I feel like I accomplished something, we all get to eat dinner, and it doesn’t become a burden to ask my husband to bring home dinner on his way back from work.

I’m hoping this casserole will leave us with enough for lunch tomorrow because then we don’t have to do anything extra like eat out or cook another meal (which isn’t going to happen).  Unfortunately, I’ve made this before and there wasn’t anything left at all!  It’s a good sign that the meal was delicious, but not great for having leftovers.  What a problem to have!

Whatever your reason for not following the meal plan and preparations for yourself (and family), it’s going to be okay.  You can put the steaks in the freezer for another day.  You can cook two meals in one day so you have future meals ready.  You can eat out.  Don’t punish yourself.  Do your best.  Remember, any changes are improvements in the right direction.

Have a wonderful day!

PS-I know you’re wondering what that image has anything to do with this blog.  Get back on that horse when you’ve fallen off.  It’ll be okay.  You can still achieve greatness and success!

Keto Beginner, Open Blog, Recipes, Uncategorized

Meal Preparation

Take the time to plan ahead!

Taking the time to plan ahead regarding your meals can really save you so much time, money and frustration.  There are a few different ways to do meal planning depending upon your situation and I’m going to review them in this blog.  If you have a method not mentioned in this blog, please share with us all, especially since we’re here to help one another!

Method #1: Cooking and freezing for the week

My sister-in-law (SIL) does this and I think many of you follow this method too.  Pick 1-2 meals for the week.  Get all the ingredients you need and cook both meals in large quantities in one day.  I admire my SIL, she cooks everything on Sundays ahead of the work week for her and her husband.

This is the quickest and most efficient method of meal planning.  It takes a good amount of time when you do this, but it’s only once a week and you have lunch (and possibly dinner) for every single day.  This saves you money from going out to lunch or wasting food.

In addition to getting the ingredients for this meal planning method, you will need proper storage and space in your fridge.  I recommend getting some of these handy containers and lids on Amazon.  They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, cheap, and stack well in the fridge and in the cupboard.  You can also get similar containers at Costco…I have both and they get used regularly.

The down side of this meal prep method is that you spend a lot of time one day a week and are eating the same meal several times.  However, if you don’t mind eating the same meal several times in a row, this really is a great way to meal plan for yourself and your family.

Note: I’ve always wanted to do this.  I would need a huge freezer though because I don’t like the same meals too often.  Also, when I don’t feel well, I just don’t want to spend an entire day cooking and there really isn’t anyone else to pick up the slack.

Method #2: Meal planning

I recently wrote about Meal Planning and shared an example of my weekly meal plans and a downloadable template that you could use.  It’s probably obvious that this is the method I regularly follow.  And if I don’t create a formal meal plan, I generally follow something similar in my head.

Meal planning allows you to decide what you want to eat and when.  There are notes to remind you of when you defrost certain items…which is really nice, because I like to buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale and freeze it.  It even includes a shopping list of the items you will need to buy for the week.

The best part about my plan, and if you’ve seen the plan you probably figured it out, is that I generally make enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch the next day.  This means that when I cook I am making 6 meals instead of 3 (my husband, dad and I).  I have a constant struggle in life that you probably don’t yet know about me.  I love cooking and tend to cook enough for an army.  By making adjustments and putting leftovers in the containers mentioned in Method #1, I end up using food that I bought before it goes bad, save time and money, and get a good variety of food in our diets.

The downside of this plan is that I have to cook 5-6 nights per week.  I know, don’t be crazy…we plan to eat out because we want to eat out anyway.  I’m realistic here about our actual eating habits.  It’s really not so bad of a downside as some meals are easier than others and don’t take too much time.

In regards to eating the same meal even twice, many meals can be changed slightly so it’s practically a new meal.  For instance, tonight I’m making New York Strip steaks (they were on sale a couple of weeks ago, so I froze them).  Between the three of us, we won’t eat the 3 whole steaks that I defrosted.  I’m planning to slice the leftover steaks and make steak salads for us all tomorrow.  A steak salad is easy…make a salad with keto-friendly veggies and lots of mixed greens, add sliced meat (steak for this example), and include a small side container of salad dressing (usually ranch).  My husband will eat like a king tomorrow and I will be happy knowing he’s eating vegetables!

This method also doesn’t leave me with too many leftovers.  I don’t have space for lots of leftovers.  If we lived in a house we could get a deep freezer and freeze the meat and leftovers in there, but I don’t.  I just have a regular fridge with a tiny bit of freezer space.

Method #3: Make what you want, when you want it

This is the method that literally is a no-plan plan.  What do you feel like eating?  Go to the kitchen and make it.  Don’t have the ingredients?  Make something else.  Did you cook enough for leftovers?  Uh oh.  Now you have to cook another meal for lunch tomorrow.

This is obviously not a real method, but I think many of us feed ourselves this way and wonder why we’re cooking so much, going to the grocery store so often, and throwing so many groceries away because it’s going bad.  I know I fall into this habit on occasion.  Do you?

I like to eat what I’m in the mood for.  Fortunately, I don’t really have cravings too often any more since I began Keto.  This is good because I can make just about anything I want…but if I wasn’t paying attention, that avocado I was going to eat is now dead, the cheese has mold (I’m allergic to mold, but I’ll cut it off if I get a block of cheese and can salvage something), the meat is slimy.  Seriously, what a waste to spend the time to buy the groceries and the money to pay for them just to throw them away and leave yourself hungry!

This is not a very good plan, in my experience.  It could leave you eating out more, eating processed foods (even if it is keto-friendly) and fairly unsatisfied.  Your dinner could end up being a string cheese, some almonds and a cup of chamomile tea because that’s all that is left in the house that’s currently edible.

Save yourself from this method!  It’s okay once in a while, but in generally, you really don’t want to do this to yourself.

If you enjoyed this blog, make sure to follow so that you can be notified of new blogs as I write them.  If you have a comment, question or suggestion,
please write it below 
…I’d love to hear from you!

Health Progress, Supplements, Uncategorized

Healthy Skin (Part 3)

Caring for your biggest organ is important!

This final piece of the series about Healthy Skin, I’m blogging about the benefits of a healthy diet to improve your skin.  I’ll also have recipes that you can use and enjoy.  In previous blogs, I had written about proper moisture and care of your skin and avoiding sun damage (Part 1), and aging (Part 2).

A Healthy Diet to Improve Skin

Your body has needs.  Are you meeting these needs through your diet?  If not, consider making a few changes to your food and drink consumption to maximize your health and improve your skin.  Obviously, I advocate the Keto diet, but you don’t have to do Keto to make some changes to help your skin.

#1: Avoid foods that you’re allergic to.  Your skin may be irritated as a result to an allergy.  Growing up I had terrible eczema from a wheat allergy.

#2: Identify rashes, ie: keto rash, eczema, dry skin, poison ivy, etc.  This can help you to figure out the best treatment.  It kind of overlaps #1 above, but it’s important.

#3: Moisturize from the inside out!  Don’t drink the lotion.  You should be eating healthy fats (avocado and salmon), and including healthy oils (coconut oil) into your diet.  You can also supplement with fish oil, krill oil, Vitamin E, etc. if you can’t get enough in your daily diet.

#4: Make sure your body can absorb the nutrients and fat you’re giving it through your diet or supplementation.  It may seem odd, but just because it goes in your mouth doesn’t mean your body can do something with it, even when it needs to.  For example, did you know taking a Vitamin K2-MK7 helps your body absorb Vitamin D3?  And if you’re low in D3 your body likely isn’t absorbing calcium…and we all know we need calcium.  You may need to make adjustments to maximize your absorption depending upon your body and it’s particular needs.

Delicious, Skin Improving Recipes

Guacamole – mashed avocados, chopped cilantro, lemon or lime juice, pico de gallo and salt

Tomato & Avocado Salad – diced tomatoes and avocados, lemon juice, salt and chopped basil

Salmon with Broccoli & Herbed Butter – pan fried salmon cooked in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper, steamed broccoli, all topped with your choice of herbed, salted butter

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Oysters on the half shell

Salmon Cakes with a side salad

Extra Tips

  • Try to eat an avocado every day.  It’s easier in California, I know, but try to find them in season and freeze them for later if you have to.
  • Pamper your skin (and yourself) with a trip to the spa for a facial, back facial or something scrub brushing.  My mom and I like to go to a local beauty school for facials and back facials once or twice a year.  It feels amazing.  Our skin looks great.  And it’s not very expensive.
  • Pay attention and listen to your body.  Are you thirsty?  You’re dehydrated.  Drink some water.  Does your skin itch and feel dry?  You’re likely dehydrated.  Drink some water and put some really good lotion on your skin.  Have another problem?  Research a solution, talk with a professional or try something new.
  • Your skin has natural lubricant, so be aware that over using things like lip balms and moisturizers can create a situation where your body will not make the necessary moisture needed because you’re supplementing it with other moisturizers.  (I used to be addicted to lip balms.  It was a tragedy and very hard to stop.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-series about Healthy Skin.  I’m not a professional, so please use common sense and do your own research when trying a recommendation.  Also, please leave comments, questions and topic suggestions.

And, as always, be sure to check out the facebook group for support, encouragement, success stories and recipes at www.facebook.com/groups/beckdoesketo!

Health Progress, Supplements, Uncategorized

Healthy Skin (Part 2)

Caring for your biggest organ is important!

I’ve already discussed the importance of proper moisture and care of your skin, how to avoid sun damage and what to do if you do burn your skin.  If you’re interested in reading about that, check out Part 1 of this series about Healthy Skin.

My mom has the best advice (usually).  She always said that to have great skin you should drink lots of water and moisturize.  Well, I think she was mostly right, specifically when thinking about aging and your skin.

Aging

No one wants to look old.  No one wants to look older than they are.  Everyone wants to look happy and healthy.

These are generalizations that most of us can get on board with.  When I was younger, I did want to look older.  It was tough to look so young when I starting my career…I wanted to be treated like someone who knew what they were doing and had experience, which I did (or at least I thought I did).

I’ve lived most of my life in Orange County, California.  It’s quite nice here, I’m not going to lie.  But there is a lot of vanity here.  As if it’s not enough to have pressure to be wafe-thin, which I can’t ever be (bone structure) and don’t want to be, there is a lot of pressure to look young and healthy.  The pressure and sanity levels seem to decrease the further away from Hollyweird you get (just a personal theory).

Anyhow, back to aging.  We want to look young and healthy.  Take care of your body internally and externally.  We don’t all get the gift of genetics from our parents to look young (I know, I was blessed).  But you don’t have to make the situation worse!  By eating healthy and providing nutrients and essentials to your body, you will be helping yourself look better too!!

Avoid the following, if you’d like to help your skin look as healthy and young as possible:

  • Excessive smoking and/or drinking
  • Harsh drugs, prescribed or recreational
  • Dehydration and toxins
  • Avoid sun damage

Do the following, if you’d like to improve or maintain your skin:

  • Drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin
  • Lower stress levels
  • Smile and try to be content with what you’ve got to work with!
  • Improve your internal health through nutrition and exercise, like the Keto diet, supplementation, body appropriate exercise
  • Eat foods high in antioxidents, such as berries, dark chocolate, pecans, etc
  • Add antioxident supplements, such as beta-carotene, Vitamins A & E, resveratol, grape seed extract, etc.
  • Follow a ketogenic diet (Here’s some more info)
  • Read part 1 for more ideas

Stay tuned for Healthy Skin (Part 3) for information about a healthy diet to improve skins with recipes and list of what you consider adding or removing.

And, as always, be sure to check out the facebook group for support, encouragement, success stories and recipes at www.facebook.com/groups/beckdoesketo!

 

Health Progress, Supplements, Uncategorized

Healthy Skin (Part 1)

Caring for your biggest organ is important!

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and acts to protect you.  It’s easy to take your skin for granted, but it is so important for the health of your body.  But how do you go about caring for your skin?  And what are the best ways to care for your skin?  It can be quite confusing.

Moisture/Dryness

Achieving the perfect moisture level can be complicated and challenging.  If your skin is dry you can age and have irritated, itchy skin.  If your skin is overly moist you can have acne from clogged pores and it’s just socially seen as unsightly.  The “best” is the combination” skin…that’s where you have some areas that are dry and overly moist my favorite…in the most sarcastic inner voice.)

It’s been my experience that men seem to not notice or care and women spend a lot of time correcting their skin…and a lot of money!  It’s also my experience that what you do in life often shows in your skin, so you really can’t hide your health for too long.

If you have dry skin, you may want to consider:

  • Washing less often as you’re washing away precious oils
  • Are you having a reaction to a change in your diet or allergies?
  • Lower the temperature of your shower…hot water is not great for skin!
  • Increase your water as you may be dehydrated internally
  • Try increasing your electrolytes, specifically your magnesium, potassium and sodium through either foods higher in these nutrients or supplementation
  • Change your moisturizers and lotions for something more natural, perhaps coconut oil (refined has no smell) or even making your own concoction
  • Perhaps increasing oil and fat consumption, fish oil or fatty fish, Vitamin E, Krill oil, coconut, olive and avocado oils should all help to add moisture internally

If you have overly moist skin, you may want to consider:

  • Make sure you’re using oil-free moisturizers and lotions
  • Wash your skin up to twice daily
  • Consider a possible hormone imbalance (Androgens) that might need addressing, or even addressing ovary or adrenal issues
  • Supplement with zinc, DIM
  • Increase cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli
  • Try lower stress, decreasing carbs (20g or less daily) and intermittent fasting (IF)

If you have combination skin, you’re in real trouble: (Just kidding!)

  • You may need to review both lists above and focus on increasing supplements or dietary needs to address lack of good oils, nutrients and a possible hormone issue
  • Also, don’t wash your skin with harsh soap or cleansers, with water that is hot and always moisturize
  • Consider trouble shooting specific areas, like putting coconut oil on the dry spots only instead of your entire arm
  • Definitely, lower your stress, carb intake and try IF

Sun Damage

You want to protect your skin!  You’re doing a lot to help improve your health, so don’t be crazy and forget to protect your skin.  Conventional wisdom is to cover your skin, avoid the direct sunlight at the highest points of the day (usually between 11am and 2pm), and slather on chemical laden sunscreen/sunblock.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m not a conventional wisdom follower.  I prefer to know the conventional wisdom, understand how the conclusion came about (why) and really decide for myself if it’s best for me and my family.  In no way do I think you should just do what I say without considering your options and making an informed decision for yourself.  I also am a-okay with you doing something different than I do (no judgement).

With that said, I generally avoid the direct sunlight midday, usually because it’s really hot and I don’t like it, but also because that’s when my skin burns the fastest.  I do coverup, but I’m not wearing long sleeves and pants on a Summer day, that’s just not happening…read previous sentence about being hot.  And I don’t use sunblock or sunscreen.  I know, crazy right?

I really find the correlation between skin cancer increasing and the use of sunscreens/sunblocks interesting and something I cannot avoid.  People lived for hundreds or thousands of years before this invention of covering your skin in chemicals to avoid burns.  I would rather put mud on my skin than whatever is in that spray bottle!  I’ve felt this way for many years, far longer than I’ve been doing Keto.  I find that I can avoid being burned with simply covering up and avoiding the midday sun.

Interestingly, I recently read something about someone saying that they increased their Vitamin B (I don’t recall which one, so just take a complex), D2 and K3 and it helped their skin to not burn as quickly.  It made me think about skin protection from the inside out, instead of the outside in.  I kind of like this and looked a little further.  You should know, I’m a pale white lady that tanned fine when I was a kid but as I got older and more pale, I just burn very quickly (pre-Keto).  I also have read some people adding other supplements to their diet to increase skin protection, including beta-carotene, astaxanthin, and Vitamins A & C.  The original blog can be found here.

This summer I find myself with more energy and interest in being outside.  I’m certain it’s because of Keto.  Anyhow, I am increasing my supplements to include beta-carotene, astaxathin, and Vitamin A (I already take C).  I’m curious as to how my body will react…I’ll certainly let you know!

Prevent Sun Damage:

  • Cover your skin with clothes or an umbrella
  • Remember that cloud coverage is not helpful!  I remember this from childhood.
  • Avoiding the direct sunlight midday when the sun is at it’s highest point
  • Have healthy skin!!!  Consider increasing supplements to improve skin health, Vitamins C & A, beta-carotene, etc

Healing Burned Skin:

  • Avoid direct sunlight if your skin is already burned..give it a chance to heal
  • Use aloe vera to help sooth the burn and assist in the healing process (Aloe vera is a great plan that’s hard to kill, consider having one at your home…it’s great for burns, cuts and other skin issues)
  • Avoid stress and other inflammatory add-ons…your body will heal faster
  • Add oils to moisturize and hopefully help your skin heal, instead of blister and peel

Check out Part 2 of this series where I talk about aging and how to help improve your skin to look as young and fresh as possible (without doing anything crazy!)

And, as always, be sure to check out the facebook group for support, encouragement, success stories and recipes at www.facebook.com/groups/beckdoesketo!

Health Progress, Keto Beginner, Open Blog, Recipes, Uncategorized

Menu Planning

I’m on Summer Vacation and relaxing, but technically I have begun my journey as a Homemaker.  It didn’t go well last time, but that was forced due to illness.  This time it was a decision that was well-thought out, discussed and planned.  I’m still sick, but that is not the primary factor in my new career choice.  It is time.

Cooking, cleaning, taking care of the vehicle maintenance, supporting my husband and family, hoping to babysitting my nephew (he’s expected in late October), and preparing for family expansion are all very exciting to me.  I will also be working on my BeckDoes projects, so I don’t have to worry about losing myself in the mundane.  I’m actually quite excited!

I’d like to be as fiscally responsible as possible, particularly when it comes to food costs.  I find that a huge chunk of our income goes to food and I think I can cut costs by planning better.  In addition to saving money, I think we should eat out less often and be a bit better on our food choices…and that leads me to my Food Planning Menu.

I had created something similar in the past but generally only lasted a few weeks before ignoring it and going back to old habits.  I hate taking out food to defrost and then having to throw it away.  It’s fiscally irresponsible, I hate that an animal died for nothing if we don’t eat it, and I particularly don’t want to hear my dad complain about wasting food anymore (it’s super annoying and find that I try to hide it now because I don’t want to hear about it).

Food Planning Menu

I like that I can plan ahead with what to eat, include special notes like when to defrost some meat, and a shopping list for each week.  Below is a PDF version of my newest Menu.  But if you’d like a Word doc template to make your own food plan, Blank Weekly Menus.

Menu Clip

If you’d like to see this menu for the entire month, click on the link for the entire PDF file of my August Weekly Menus.  Enjoy!